NOW is the time to:conquer your ALCOHOLISM
Like in any battle, a single, direct assault on a strong position is the easiest to defend against, but when there are multiple assaults simultaneously hitting the defenses at their weak points is when the battle could well be lost. This war analogy is perfectly applicable to the struggles of an Alcoholic on a day-to-day basis.
To make matters worse, many of these triggers often involve or drag in other triggers, essentially multiplying the strain on the alcoholic's defenses.These are called Related Triggers. In fact, as you can see in the diagram to the left, there is not one trigger listed that under certain circumstances does not involve at least one other, such as a feeling of Loneliness leading to feelings of Boredom or even Depression. The close association of Holidays, Relatives, and Stress is another example. And on and on and on!
Take a closer look at this diagram and see if you can pick out trigger relationships that are particularly applicable to your situation. The ones listed are NOT random - they represent real logical and emotional linkages that can really screw up your day, week, and life. This is what we mean by really Knowing Your Triggers, and is critical for achieving and maintaining your sobriety. In this book we do a thorough yet useable dive into each of these triggers, to help you to truly "know your enemy" of alcohol in great detail - as it personally relates to you!
There are many possible situations, events, and states of mind that can make an alcoholic want to drink, and want badly. A good list is represented to the right: The Trigger Wheel - A to Z.
Why a wheel? For a number of reasons. First, to show that the Alcoholic has many possible reasons to want to drink. Or causes. Or Excuses. Whatever your label, they are there - from A to Z - pressing in on the alcoholic.
The second is to show that trying to deflect these triggers on willpower alone is very, very difficult on a ongoing basis. Some days may find us easily dealing with our Job, but having difficulty dealing with our eX-wife. The next day these may become non-issues as we have to attend a party where the nearness and smell of alcohol overwhelm all other thoughts, and so on. Some days certain of our defenses are strong, on others they are vulnerable. They can even vary by the hour!
After Admitting You are an Alcoholic, the next most important component in getting and keeping you sober is completely understanding the triggers that cause or severely tempt you to drink. What mystifies me is that many treatment programs do not seem to give it the emphasis and comprehensiveness it deserves. If you do not truly understand your triggers it is naturally very difficult to be prepared for and combat them when they occur.
Besides the inadequate priority given by many programs, triggers are also often treated superficially and as independent from other triggers. Triggers such as Stress are often just masks for much deeper triggers - just saying Stress is one of your triggers may well not help at any practical level. Treating triggers as "standalone" often is inadequate as well - certain triggers often have a close "related" link to other triggers, compounding the impact. The key goals of this section are to fully understand:
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